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Old March 30, 2014, 06:59 PM   #1
passtime
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Hard cast lead bullets choices

I am in the process of getting set up to reload 45 ACP. It will be the first time I have reloaded this particular caliber. I have narrowed it down to these two types of bullets (230 gr LRN BB 45 ACP) and (230 gr LTC BB 45 ACP). Any opinions on which one would be the best for ease of use and accuracy for target practice/plinking? I will be firing them through a Ruger SR45. I would think the LRN would be best for target/plinking but the LTC could be also used for SD and I believe I read where they are actually more accurate. One other question. What is the advantage or disadvantage of a (BB) beveled bottom bullet?
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Old March 30, 2014, 07:06 PM   #2
mehavey
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advantage or disadvantage of a (BB)...?
The square base 'can' be more accurate as long as the perfect/sharp edges are preserved upon casting, seating and firing.

The bevel-base is more forgiving in casting, and equally more forgiving in starting/preserving its base during seating.

When all the dust settles, and considering the cartridge/firearm itself here, it's largely a toss-up.
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Old March 30, 2014, 10:47 PM   #3
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Thanks. Although I reloaded in the past it has been quite a while. I reloaded 9mm and 38 spl. and only used FMJ and WC bullets so the lead cast BB's are new to me.
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Old March 30, 2014, 11:22 PM   #4
chris in va
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BTW, don't use 'hard cast' for 45. It likes soft bullets.
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Old March 30, 2014, 11:38 PM   #5
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Interesting. I definitely did not know that. What would you suggest?
These are what I was looking at:http://lucky13bullets.com/index.php?...roducts_id=130
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Old March 31, 2014, 10:08 AM   #6
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I just recently started casting my own, but I have bought bought a couple of thousand from Mastercast in Il, not Pa. I bought his 230 lrn hardcast, and for a while he had the same bullet in a "softer cast". The softer cast were $62/1000, while the hardcast were $82/1000, neither leaded my 1911's or my SR45. I think he ran out out of the material for the softer lead, but it was nice while it lasted. I use ~5.0 gr of HP-38 and both cycled and ran great. Now if I could just get my bullets to stop leading! The bullets were bevel base by the way.

Last edited by under_dawg; March 31, 2014 at 10:10 AM. Reason: add bevel base comment
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Old March 31, 2014, 12:46 PM   #7
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I've actually shot pure lead (Brinell ~4.5) in my 45 Colt. As long as I keep
those 260-grainers at ~ 750-800fps they're fine. And that's "about" the
same regime as normal 45ACP (go figure).

That said, just about anything with a little tin added will do well at standard
velocities/properly sized, and plain old wheel weights (ordinary air-cooled
Brinell ~8-10) have been 1911-fodder for as long as there have been
mechanics balancing wheels.

Nothing fancy..... my 1911's eat most anything 0.453-ish

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...99&postcount=5

(Note: Classic 50/50 ALOX/Beeswax ("NRA" Lube) works well, as does Lee Liquid Alox)

Last edited by mehavey; March 31, 2014 at 12:53 PM.
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Old March 31, 2014, 05:29 PM   #8
Mike / Tx
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Our standard home brew alloy cast with a Brinell hardness of approximately 16.
I picked up on the above in their About Us statement. WHile it isn't overly hard it isn't soft either.

As has been pointed out soft isn't something to be scared of. I am shooting plain based bullets up into the 1200+fps range pretty easily with no ill effects with alloy that is only hitting around a 12BHN

Granted most commercial casters need to keep things a bit harder though as shipping will mess up the noses and bases. Heck even my 454 bullet while gas checked are only air cooled wheel weight alloy and they are pushed up into the 1575fps range. I have run them up higher, but neither the revolver, nor I especially really like that too much.
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Old March 31, 2014, 05:59 PM   #9
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I would go with a softer lead for the 230gr's as well. Harder is better for some calibers but for the ones it isn't will not expand to fill the grooves in the barrel and velocities/ accuracy as well as barrel leading can be affected.

Then there is the coated. They seem to be gaining ground. Not loved by all for their smell, most people report much less smoke as lube is not needed. A few casters/bullet makers are offering them...

http://www.snscasting.com/45-acp-1/
http://www.bayoubullets.net/45_ACP.html

and some here have been coating their own http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...coated+bullets
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Old March 31, 2014, 07:54 PM   #10
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Just a quick chime-in here:

45 ACP likes lead. It's a beautiful thing.
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Old March 31, 2014, 08:35 PM   #11
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Thanks to all who have posted so far. No offense chris in va but I have been researching your post about "hard cast" and I could find nothing that corroborates that statement. As I am new to reloading the .45 caliber and also new to using lead bullets, your post could be important information to me. Can you describe why in your opinion I should not use cast bullets? Thanks for your time.
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Old March 31, 2014, 09:28 PM   #12
chris in va
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45acp is a low pressure round, around 12k psi. Hard lead alloys tend to seal the bore better when there is more 'shove' behind it, ie pressure. Not enough pressure could cause accuracy and/or leading issues.

It's not a big deal really but if you have the option to get something in the 8bhn range, it would be preferable.

On the flip side a FMJ jacket is much harder, and works just fine.
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Old March 31, 2014, 10:17 PM   #13
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The 'J' in FMJ is in excess of Brinell 100. It doesn't melt/smear from flame temp; doesn't strip in the rifling; and doesn't deform before it aligns itself in the bore if/when it starts at a slight angle.

Lead does all of those things if not dimensionally/materially tailored to the barrel and the pressures involved.

Last edited by mehavey; March 31, 2014 at 11:47 PM.
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Old March 31, 2014, 10:31 PM   #14
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I completely understand. Thanks
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Old April 1, 2014, 12:09 AM   #15
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I have shot 230gr lrn for years out of my p345 and 1911 with great results. I dont know the hardness of them honestly i think the guy that cast them just uses whatever he has. Some lots lead the barrel some lots wont it dont seem to matter my guns shoot them both well.

The guy has recently swiched over to the coated bullets and im not sure if i like them yet. They still smoke about the same, leading has gone away, they do stink a bit, but it seems like the accuracy has suffered a bit.

As far as the differance in the bullet styles i have shot them all in 230gr and they seem to all shot about the same. I load them all at around 800fps seems to be the sweet spot for my guns.
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Old April 1, 2014, 09:11 AM   #16
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pastime, I've loaded a lot of different cast bullet loads in the 45 ACP, everything from 155gr SWC for reactive steel shooting to 255 gr SWC for hunting.

Brinell hardness for the cast bullets I use ranged between 12 and 18, and I've had no real issues with leading.
That being said there's a lot of things that will contribute to barrel leading when using cast bullets besides the hardness of the bullets, the bore of the barrel itself, the bullet lube being used, the powder being used can all create issues.

The two choices you have listed should work equally well for target shooting and plinking, for self defense I would choose a bullet with the biggest meplat, in your case that would be the TC bullet.
However, keep in mind some will advise against using handloads for self defense against another human and their logic has merit.

If I was choosing a cast load in 45 ACP for self defense I would consider a box of Buffalo Bore 255gr cast FN 45 ACP +P loads with a MV of 925, as long as your gun will feed them well, mine do.

As for your question about a bevel base, it will allow the bullet to start in the case easier.
You still should bell the case mouth, I also like to lightly chamfer the inside of the case mouth of my brass.
When you crimp your loads make sure there is no bell remaining as it will cause feeding issues in a semi auto.


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Old April 1, 2014, 02:16 PM   #17
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Lots of good info. Thanks
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Old April 1, 2014, 07:19 PM   #18
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Well these posts got me to thinking. In my SA 1911, I'm loading "Silver State" 230gr LRN,s. I believe I read somewhere, that their hardness is 18. Any comments on that bullet maker and the hardness would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old April 1, 2014, 09:51 PM   #19
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With 45 ACP, I don't think that hardness is all that critical. It's a low pressure round and just isn't prone to leading. It's a big part of the round's charm (see my first post, #10).

I've loaded hardcast. I've loaded soft swaged. It doesn't seem to matter.
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Old April 1, 2014, 10:08 PM   #20
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Nick C S,
Ok, I'll continue loading the SS bullets. Thank you.
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Old April 1, 2014, 10:30 PM   #21
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As long as the bullet is hard enough not to deform or "stick" when it hits the feed ramp is will work in the .45acp well enough.

With lead bullets, I shoot hard cast bullets exclusively with no issues. They also work out of my Tommygun!
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Old April 2, 2014, 11:18 AM   #22
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44 AMP: I knew you had a Tommygun I just knew it.
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Old April 2, 2014, 02:52 PM   #23
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I prefer the 230g hardcast Round Nose, for its potential for better feed reliability.

I prefer mine come from Penn Bullets.
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Old April 2, 2014, 04:57 PM   #24
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I shoot "hard cast" bullets in the .45 ACP, they work fine, get sized to .452" dia.
I buy from Dardas, thebulletworks.net, Rucker, and there are plenty other good bullet caster. Work great in Colt, Ruger, Kimber, etc.
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Old April 2, 2014, 11:52 PM   #25
Nick_C_S
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As long as the bullet is hard enough not to deform or "stick" when it hits the feed ramp
True, a soft bullet "digging in" to the feed ramp is a potential issue.

Drifting off subject here, but my go-to round is a 200g (hardcast) LSWC. I load and shoot tons of these. I like the nice big round hole SWC's make. Since they seem to feed just fine, I rarely load round nose profile bullets.
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